Gilder Lehrman Self-Paced Courses

Watch graduate-level American history courses on your own time and schedule

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s Self-Paced Course series offers graduate-level online courses taught by eminent historians, available to watch or listen to at your own time and pace, with no deadlines or expiration dates.

Courses in the series range from early American history through the end of the twentieth century and feature some of the nation’s foremost American history scholars. 

Each self-paced course includes

  • Five to seven video lectures, each approximately two hours in length, by an eminent historian in Gilder Lehrman’s online graduate course program
  • Digital labs, and pedagogy sessions
  • MP3 audio recordings of each lecture
  • Primary sources and readings that create a deeper understanding of the material
  • A series of short quizzes to review your knowledge
  • A certificate of completion for the course. Gilder Lehrman can also send a letter verifying that you have completed 15 professional development contact hours per course. (Note: if you are interested in graduate credit options, please visit our online course homepage.)

Educator Professional Development

Self-Paced Courses allow teachers to earn professional development credit on their own schedule. Lectures by historians provide teachers with the opportunity to increase their content knowledge and gain a modern scholarly perspective on American history topics, while pedagogy sessions show how to transfer this new knowledge into the classroom through lesson plans, digital tools, and primary sources. Each Self-Paced Course is equal to 15 professional development contact hours. If you would like to know more, please contact us at



Please visit our FAQ page to learn more about buying a course, earning PD credit, and more. If you have any further questions, please email us at

Self-Paced Courses

Learn more about our three newest courses: Alexander Hamilton’s America - American Indian History - Women and Politics in 20th-Century America